I think I am so caught up in what I should do, or what others think I should do, or what I think others think I should do, that I forget to consider what I want to do…
The past few days have been rough. Nora was in a great mood after her tongue and lip tie correction, until that afternoon. She was extremely fussy. I gave her Tylenol around the clock, and that helped a lot, but she was still upset and visibly in pain while eating. Immediately following the procedure I gave Nora a bottle, rather than attempting to nurse her. The dentist and I decided that since she is more used to a bottle, that would be more comforting to her. When we go home I attempted to nurse her, but she acted as though she had no idea why I was trying to stuff my nipple into her mouth… I laid off on trying to force her and instead her and I cuddled most of the afternoon and evening, using bottles for all her feedings in between naps.
Yesterday she was much happier! So I tried nursing her, and folks, it still hurt like hell! I know, I know, the dentist and LC told me not to expect great things right away, as Nora has to relearn how to use her muscles and such. I guess I still expected something to be different though, but it wasn’t. We did two feedings in a row, but then I was left in pain, with milk stuck in my ducts again, and she was fussy, I assume not satisfied. So back to bottles we went yesterday afternoon, evening, and overnight.
We have a follow-up appointment this afternoon with the LC. I guess I’m not sure what to expect of their help… I assume they will just tell me to keep up with the stretches (to make sure her ties don’t grow back together) and suck training (to help her learn to use her tongue and mouth correctly). Successfully nursing Nora doesn’t even seem possible to me anymore, I just can’t picture us ever getting there. I mean, we’ve been struggling for FOUR months now. It feels like forever. There is such a huge part of me that wants to give up and accept that I will continue pumping until I have enough breast milk in the freezer to last Nora until she is at least a year old. I could go back to pumping more often so I can freeze more faster and be completely finished pumping sooner… Would suck for the time being, but oh, think of the freedom of not pumping! I can’t even imagine!
But then there is that part of me that thinks I should get her to breastfeed successfully. Like it’s become some challenge I must overcome, must somehow prove to everyone we can do it. But do I even want to? I hate pumping, I do, but I have this down to a science now. Would it actually be less stressful to just give in and accept this is our reality? And if I do give in, am I still allowed to complain and bitch and moan that pumping and bottle feeding sucks? Or must I give that up since this would be my decision?
Ultimately these things are important to me:
- Nora gets my milk – perhaps how shouldn’t matter
- Nora learns to use her tongue and mouth correctly – even if we don’t continue breastfeeding, I know correcting her ties will be beneficial to lifelong eating, talking, and so much more